Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI), a police-owned organisation working on behalf of the Police Service throughout the UK, launched its latest crime prevention initiative (Licensing SAVI) in early 2021, to help provide safe and secure licensed premises for managers, staff, customers, and local communities.
Licensing SAVI, an online self-assessment tool, brings together advice and guidance that licensed premises need to meet the requirements of Responsible Authorities in England and Wales, signposting good practice to maximise safety and reduce vulnerability for both customers and staff.
Mark Morgan, Business Manager at Licensing SAVI, commented: “As with venues themselves, we suffered a slow start since launching this new initiative, with venues rightly focussed upon covid and resourcing related matters. However, since the new year, we have seen a steady growth in the number of venues using Licensing SAVI across the country.
“We’re really pleased to see that use of Licensing SAVI is suitable for all types of licensed premises,” Mark continued. “Accredited venues so far include different types of pub operations, bars and nightclubs, theatres, sports clubs, restaurants, and hotels. We’ve seen venues located in city centres through to smaller towns and rural areas, with real diversity in customer base, all scoring very well in the submitted assessment.”
Mark believes that much of this is due to the fact that those who run licensed premises want to show their customers and staff that they have taken appropriate measures to increase their safety whilst socialising – this was a key finding within a YouGov survey commissioned last year by Police CPI, which showed a huge drop in customers perception of safety at licensed premises, but also highlighted that people would be more likely to visit a venue if it had a Police safety award. “There is a huge amount of work on-going to address the safety of women and girls, with Licensing SAVI having specific questions, advice and templates to support venues, although it’s fair to say that the advice within Licensing SAVI supports the safety of all people, of all communities,” Mark noted.
Feedback from users also shows that they like the self-assessment being available on a unique digital platform and available for use anytime, anywhere, while still featuring bespoke support where necessary.
Mark, a former police officer in both the Metropolitan and Merseyside Police, previously led police licensing teams in Liverpool, working to tackle thefts, violence, alcohol related harm, vulnerability, and drugs misuse. “We are determined to ensure that Licensing SAVI remains focused in supporting those who manage and work in licensed premises to be able to undertake a ‘health check’ in relation to their operating practices and security measures, providing feedback to help improve where necessary and to accredit venues with a Police Safety Award to reflect the efforts they’ve made. We have listened to feedback from users and made changes where necessary to ensure we provide a user-friendly assessment, and that content is current and relevant. In response to mixed findings around policies and procedures that venues have in place, we have recently added several free to use templates and guides to support venues deal with a wide variety of considerations including female safety, age verification, tackling drug misuse and spiking. Ultimately, we want to support venues to be as safe as they possibly can.”
Police CPI and Licensing SAVI have been working with the National Police Chiefs Council to support venues in tackling the recent spiking trend and have written good practice guides for venues and customers. Alongside this, the organisation has worked with behavioural scientists from the National Crime Agency to develop offender-focused posters and digital screen displays, targeting those most likely to cause harm and moving away from traditional ‘victim blaming’ campaigns. These materials are available in both English and Welsh language versions on the Licensing SAVI website: Drink Spiking Posters - Free Downloadable Posters (licensingsavi.com).
Feedback indicates that the £100 +VAT cost of Licensing SAVI for self-assessment and subsequent 12-month accreditation is appropriately pitched, with many areas having funding streams through the likes of local councils and Business Improvement Districts to support their local venues. However, for a limited time, new users can benefit from a 25% reduced cost by using the promotion code of ‘GETSAVI’. The Licensing SAVI team look forward to adding more venues to the growing number already proudly displaying their Police Safety Award.
About Police CPI
Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police-owned, not-for-profit organisation which delivers a wide range of innovative and ground-breaking crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives to support the UK Police Service, Government and the public. Senior police officers control and direct the work Police CPI carries out on behalf of the Police Service.